As Massachusetts enters its third week of legal recreational marijuana sales, Rhode Island lawmakers could soon consider legalizing recreational use.
It’s a perennial issue for R.I. State Senator Joshua Miller of Cranston. He plans to introduce a marijuana legalization bill during the next legislative session.
Miller said Rhode Island is missing out on tax revenue that Massachusetts plans to use to fund substance abuse prevention programs and other public health initiatives.
By paying taxes on marijuana purchases in Massachusetts, “Rhode Islanders are financing those solutions for Massachusetts,” Miller said. “So we want Rhode Islanders and whoever else might purchase to finance some of those solutions in Rhode Island.”
Miller said Rhode Island could use tax revenue from legal marijuana sales to counteract the marijuana black market.
Last session, Rhode Island lawmakers voted to form a commission to study legalizing recreational marijuana in the state. Miller said recreational marijuana legalization in Massachusetts has given a new push to legalization efforts in Rhode Island.